Josh Bolten, Chief Of Staff: We didn’t hear anything about what happened to it for some time until eventually, we heard that as it turned out it was a bunch of brave American civilians who brought that plane down on their own.
Bartlett: I remember vividly a primetime press conference in the East Room. He had to do what he had to do to be presidential. Peter Baker, Journalist: The father was always measuring the son, and the measuring, of course, is what makes it so hard for, you know, the firstborn of a storied family.
George H. W. Bush (archival): This will not stand. News anchor (archival): Five men wearing white gloves and carrying cameras were caught earlier today in the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington. We had a video set up so that we could talk to him, and we could see him walking into the bunker. He didn't speak ill of other Republicans.
SOT, Announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States.
George H. W. Bush was Ronald Reagan's heir. You have a person who believes he’s a leader, and doesn't know what’s happening beneath him.
And the lieutenant governor was Bob Bullock, who was strong as an acre of garlic. Narrator: After consulting with Cheney, Bush authorized fighter jets to shoot down United Flight 93. He knew it. I fall back on bad hearing and changing the subject. It hasn't been an easy decision. Doro Bush Koch, daughter: I watched Dad get out of the helicopter, and there was this smoldering intensity to him. You know, there he is, W. And he kind of moves out into his own sunlight at that point.
And that's what he feels about Kennebunkport, Maine.
But there was another committee, that used the menacing black face of Willie Horton but it would be very hard for you and me to really disassociate those two. Narrator: With Bullock’s support, Bush sailed through his first term -- easily fending off a Democratic challenger for re-election in 1998. Together with an Afghan rebel force called The Northern Alliance, CIA paramilitary units planned to drive the Taliban out of the capital and capture Osama Bin Laden.
Woman 3: I’m gonna die, the water started rising in the attic ma’am and I’m gonna drown in the attic. He was out in front of all of us. Newt Gingrich (archival): I have to look at this as an independent member of Congress, as an independent member of the Republican leadership, and I have to say as an independent person, is this something I can go home in good conscience and say, "This is the best we could do for the next five years, and I can defend it"?
And they sent out -- one meeting we went to, the lights went out, someone was speaking, and papers were all passed down.
News SOT: George Bush is the 41st President of the United States. And over the other shoulder, he saw his own lineage, his own tradition. Powell wanted it to be airtight, all but discarding an early draft provided by the Vice President’s office.
A trillion sounded too much and 700 billion seemed like about the most we could get.
Chase Untermeyer, Congressional intern: He said that he was going to face a angry crowd and that he was being fitted for iron underpants for whatever they might decide to do when they had him on the griddle.
This is what’s going to happen? After the war they were among a group known as the "Wise Men" who helped President Truman fashion the policy of containing the Soviet Union. Good evening. There are charges against the low-level soldiers that carried this out, but, from Rumsfeld on down, nothing happens. On August 5th, he sat down with Bush in the White House Treaty Room, warning the President that he could not simply win a quick military victory and walk away. And I think Bullock probably didn’t expect that. He denounced the United Nations, and pledged to vote against Kennedy on civil rights. Michael Gerson, Chief Speechwriter: I think his friends and family when he was nearly 40 years old were worried about what he was going to do with his life. America is under attack.”. Known as the happy hatchet man, he set out to completely change Bush's gentlemanly campaign style.
Like Barry Goldwater, he argued federal enforcement of civil rights was a violation of states' rights.
And he did it with gusto, and of course it knocked the ball out of the park.
He then became U.S. ambassador in Moscow.
Philip R. Snyder The torture was just a stain on our national soul.
Everything Prescott Bush represented, Goldwater saw as a threat to individual freedom. And that seemed like pretty heavy baggage. It’s like a fight that never really got resolved and I think that we’ve been in our corners ever since.
Rumsfeld: Not at all. And then there’s this guy right here that’s dead, that’s been sitting out here for a while. People called up on the phone. Reporter (archive): Mr. President, did you give any thought to perhaps after two storms in 13 years of moving to higher ground or are you determined to come back here? He had seen Bush, in effect, wilt under pressure at the famous Nashua debate. George H. W. Bush (archival): Read my lips "no new taxes". If you ask me if you--. Narrator: Bush learned of a counter-insurgency operation in a small town in northern Iraq.
SOT, President Bush: I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. Charlie Younger, Childhood Friend: He woke up hungover, he'd overdone it the night before, and he didn't feel good, and I think Laura told him that he could have behaved better. If George W Bush won in ‘04, the Bush’s would have achieved something that no other political family had in American history: reelection. Some of it’s meaningless. The Vaccarella and Deschamp Family
It had to be about something bigger and more uplifting. The air bombardment continued overnight.
James Baker: Reagan had-had collected sufficient number of delegates to be- to be nominated, and my advice to George at the time was that we ought to fold up our tent, and not go out to California and try and contest Reagan in his home state, because if we did that, there'd be no chance whatsoever that he would be put on the ticket. It's the closest thing to uncharted territory that you can have. Abu Ghraib obviously was a huge disappointment during the presidency.
If history teaches us anything it is that we must resist aggression or it will destroy our freedoms. Narrator: At the root of the protesters’ anger was the belief that Bush had lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. Veteran: He’s dishonored his country.
You’re not nearly as cool as cool as the people think you are.”.
I'm not a very emotional kind of guy.
John Robert Greene, presidential historian: Bill Clinton did not beat George Bush in 1992.
Narrator: For all Bush’s efforts to focus on other issues, the fight against Al Qaeda and the war in Iraq required his full attention. Narrator: The attack on Kerry’s war record helped neutralize one of Bush’s most glaring vulnerabilities: his preferential treatment in avoiding the draft as a National Guard pilot. I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you – and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. He’s surrounded by family and friends. Now he had his chance. But I think in many cases he didn't recognize how he was gradually being moved to those positions.
SOT, Bush: What time is it? He’s seeking out direction, meaning, understanding. Narrator: Little in the past of George Walker Bush had prepared him for the challenges he would face after 9/11, nor inspire much confidence that he would rise to them. That had not happened.
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But I fell in love at first sight, practically.
Newt Gingrich had bolted. President Bush was shaken when torture was revealed at Abu Ghraib.
Why didn't you go to Baghdad?"
Narrator: Bush asked his friend James Baker, a prominent Houston lawyer with deep Texas roots, to run his campaign.
When he tried to encourage consumer spending to spur the economy, the press saw him as unsympathetic to those who might not have spare cash to spend. They became good friends.
But I think I would be less than frank if I said I felt good or could see anything from a personal standpoint to be excited about at this point. But, in the 1990s, after the Gulf War, he had uncovered a secret Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Elisabeth Bumiller: Abu Ghraib was devastating for the administration. Dan Bartlett: The surge of troops in Iraq was one of the most gut-wrenching policy decisions I saw the president make. It was one of the premier races of that year, and a lot of people thought, well, Bush is going to win this Senate race, and there's probably a good chance that'll be the stepping stone for him ultimately going to run for president. He always heard her voice in his head, saying, "Don't brag about yourself." SOT, President Bush: I want to assure the folks at the state level that we are fully prepared to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm. On the contrary, I think there's a lot of evidence that it made it much more dangerous for every American who went overseas, who fought overseas because the stories that came out about the Abu Ghraib mistreatment and the Guantanamo mistreatment were the best recruiting tools that Al-Qaeda ever got.
And it was a moment for Germany to celebrate that that division had ended. Thank you very, very much. Bill Minutaglio, Writer: Some people derisively called it a champagne unit. Narrator: After initially declining, Cheney finally agreed, but only after extracting a pledge that he would be given unprecedented power and access. He knew what he wanted the answer to be, he knew what he wanted the end result to be. George H. W. Bush (archival): I was aware of our Iran initiative and I support the president's decision.
Just "How are you?
Narrator: Within days after the cease-fire, Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard brutally suppressed an uprising by Iraqi Shia in the South. George Packer: Throughout 2003, ’4, and ’5, Iraq got worse and worse and worse.
Sick about the President's betrayal and sick about the fact that the major Nixon enemies can now gloat because they have proved he is what they said he is.". Baker: He may not be a rocket scientist, he may not be a philosopher, he would tell you that himself, but he’s a smart guy. At the same time, it was the last thing the secret service would ever want to happen. The program became known by its acronym, PEPFAR.
Narrator: The party that George Bush created in Houston in 1963 grew into the party which he would lead -- and struggle with -- as president. Narrator: That phrase, Bush thought, would appeal to moderates turned off by Reagan's harsh edges. The Cold War is at its peak and the opponents are hostile. The captive nations of Eastern Europe and the Baltics are captive no more. Wayne Slater, Journalist: George Bush was almost the perfect example, if not the wastrel, the profligate kid, the good-time Charlie, the wonderfully engaging friend, and fraternity brother that you've met a thousand times. And it was very, very effective.
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